Steering Towards a Goal

“Shimokitazawa, where I live and work, is really similar to a place in Stockholm called Södermalm. Basically it’s the hipster area of Stockholm. I was really familiar and liked that area so when I came here I felt really at home. Not everyone is in a suit and I feel like people are super relaxed here which is great. Sometimes when I am stressed though it can make me annoyed because I just want to relax like them.”

“When living in Tokyo as opposed to just traveling I have been kind of having my own bubble in Shimokitazawa or Yoyogi-Hachiman. I really don’t like big crowds in Shibuya and Shinjuku, so I have been feeling at home just staying in my neighborhood. It has been more for me about exploring the tiny parts of Shimokita, viewing all the restaurants checking the alleys, and then just kind of expanding very, very slowly from that.”

“I’ve been interested in Japan since first playing Japanese video games at a young age. At my university in Sweden, I studied video game creation and design but even though I had no clear goal in mind in terms of work, I began to think maybe I could actually work in Japan. Kind of like how you navigate a boat, you have a set destination, but the route there can take many paths”

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“Every year an indie game development event called BitSummit is held in Kyoto, it’s kind of like a small Tokyo game show. I emailed all the companies that were attending the conference, all 60 of them. I just said, ‘can I come to Japan and have an internship?’ One company just said no, another one gave me a really long google translated no, and the third one said yes.”

“At first I had no idea what that meant, but I soon realized that the company had employees who previously worked for famous game companies like Square Enix and Sega. As a kid I played games that some of these people had helped create, so I was excited for the chance to work with them.”

“As for my experience as a foreigner here it has been surprisingly good. I think the first time that I came here I had the usual culture shock. But more and more I have been here it feels like it’s not that different from home. Especially because I have been integrated into a Japanese company, so it feels like I am one of them even though I can’t understand much of what they are saying. Usually what I have read online is that foreigners in Japan have trouble connecting with people due to differences in culture. But, I also think it has something to do with what they are doing because most people who I’ve met are English teachers who are brought in as a service, which might distance them from interacting with regular people.”

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Some of Dennis’ work can be found by following the links below:

Website

Facebook

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Timfranklinphotography

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington Tim is currently living and working in metropolitan Tokyo, Japan. Heavily influenced from scenic vistas of the Pacific Northwest, Tim’s photographic style demonstrates the dichotomy between urban landscapes seamlessly fused with nature and seeks to show the beauty found in everyday life.

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